A Fate Worse Than Death: How Pennington Street Got Its Name!

Larcena Ann Pennington

How did Pennington Street in Downtown Tucson get its name? (a) Could it be named for some 19th century politician and merchant like Estevan Ochoa, who established a successful business supplying Indian reservations and U.S. Army forts northeast of Tucson? He served as mayor (1875-76) and has a downtown street … Continue reading

America’s Longest War: An Apache History!


Which was America’s longest war? President Obama claims that the war in Afghanistan is America’s longest. But is that true? First, let me say that “wars” no longer start with a formal “declaration of war” nor end with a formal signing of surrender documents or “peace accords”. So part of … Continue reading

Fort Bowie, Arizona Territory: 1862 – 1894. A Pictorial.

Ruins of Fort Bowie, Arizona.

For a quarter century, 1861 to 1886, Ft. Bowie was prime real estate known as Apache Pass. The Americans wanted it for their stagecoaches & supply wagons. The Chiricahua Apaches wanted it because their people had lived here for at least two centuries. Both sides were willing to pay for it in blood.

Continue reading

May 1,1782: Apaches Attack Tucson Presidio

Presidio de Tucson reenactment at the partially restored Spanish fort in downtown Tucson.

A Spanish woman living with her family in a fort on the northern frontier of New Spain tells of her terrifying experience during the Second Battle of Tucson. On May 1, 1782, hundreds of Apaches attack the lightly-guarded Presidio San Agustin de Tucson. The civilians and soldiers of the Tucson … Continue reading

The Wrath of Cochise, by Terry Mort: A Book Review

General George Armstrong Custer

Most Americans know at least a little about Custer’s Last Stand, also known as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The incident has an epic quality worthy of Homer’s Illiad or Virgil’s Aeneid. The battle took place on June 25th & 26th, 1876 between the combined forces of the Lakoda, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes [...]

Continue reading

The Camp Grant Massacre: Arizona Territory, 1871.

Camp Grant defendants outside the courthouse where they were acquitted.

Today, there’s nothing there. Nothing to suggest what happened in the early morning of April 30, 1871. Nothing to commemorate this blood-soaked ground where 144 people, almost all women and children, lay murdered and mutilated.Camp Grant, named for the famous Civil War general, was an Army post built at the confluence of the Gila and San Pedro Rivers so that U.S. soldiers could protect local settlers and miners who had begun to flood into this area near present-day Winkelman in the late 1860′s. From this vantage point, 70 miles north of Tucson, the Army hoped it would also be in good position to protect the San Pedro River overland freight route that ran from New Mexico to California.

Continue reading